Curious about those unexpected blood clots in your stool? We’ve got you covered!
In this blog post, we will explore the common suspects behind this concerning issue, from harmless causes like hemorrhoids to more serious concerns like gastrointestinal infections. Plus, learn when it’s time to consult your healthcare provider and ensure your well-being stays on track!
What are blood clots in stool?
A small round-fibrous or granular structure in dark red to maroon color appearance or fleshy red pieces is generally how blood clots will appear in your poop. It’s actually blood in a clotted form that came to your stool from either internal bleeding, infection or injury in your gastrointestinal tract.
Now here comes a question, Are blood clots during the menstrual cycle any different from those blood clots in stool?
Definitely, they are! Blood clots in the stool come from the anus part of the GIT in the body while the menstrual cycle blood comes from the female reproductive part vagina. They might appear the same in color but both follow different paths and come with different reasons.
Causes of Blood Clots in Stool
The reason why you see red chunks or flakes in your stool could have originated from different reasons, some harmless, some alarming. Let’s learn all the possible reasons in detail.
Harmless Causes of Blood Pieces in Stools
Hemorrhoids: Blood vessels when swollen in the rectum or anus can cause bleeding and the presence of blood clots in the stool. It happens when there is extra external pressure on the linings of the walls of the rectum or anus due to chronic constipation or diarrhea. It can also be caused due to baby weight exerting pressure on GIT or weak supporting muscles of your anus.
Anal Fissures: Fissures are caused by passing the hard stools that cause bleeding cuts in your anus resulting in bloody clots in the stool.
Potential Alarming Causes of Bloody Stool
Diverticular Disease: Inflammation or infection of small pouches (diverticula) in the colon (ending part of the large intestine) may lead to bleeding with blood clots in the stool. In case of diverticular bleeding, you will notice small blood clots without pain from your anus.
Ciprofloxacin+Metronidazole or Amoxicillin+Clavulanate is commonly prescribed by healthcare providers as the treatment regimen for diverticular bleeding.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): Conditions like Crohn’s disease can be a cause of inflammation in the GIT, which leads to red bits in the form of anal blood clots in the stool.
Anti-inflammatories are generally prescribed including aminosalicylates and balsalazide. Steroids and immunosuppressants can also be a part of the treatment regimen sometimes.
Colon Polyps or Cancer: Growths or tumors in the colon can bleed, causing blood clots in the stool. Unwanted division of cells in the large intestine due to gene mutations can go undetected but some big polyps can often result in blood clots with mucus in bowel movement.
Gastrointestinal Infections Causing Bleeding: Infections in any part of the gastrointestinal tract can cause bleeding (also called gastroenteritis) and you will be pooping blood clots. More than 5,000 deaths, as well as hospitalizations, occur in the US every year due to gastroenteritis. Rehydration drinks are mostly prescribed to treat gastroenteritis.
Note: It’s good to seek medical attention from your healthcare provider in case of any of the above causes and get the proper diagnosis with treatment.
What does cancerous blood in stool look like?
Cancerous blood in stool may appear in different colors depending on the location of the cancer within the digestive tract. However, when cancer causes visible bleeding in the digestive tract, the appearance of blood in the stool can vary.
Following are the different colors depicting cancer or the outgrowth of cells in different parts of the digestive tract.
- If it’s Bright red in color, it depicts that the outgrowth and cancerous cells are in the lower (colon or rectum) part of the GIT.
- If the stool is dark and tarry, it shows that the cancerous cells are causing bleeding from the upper part (stomach or small intestine) of the GIT.
- If the stool is whitish-red in appearance, it depicts that it is mixed with mucus from any part of the GIT and it’s good to seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Treatment of Blood Clots in Stool
Treatment regimens for blood clots are entirely dependent on the cause of them, they will be treated according to the part they are coming from and the condition that has caused them.
Following are some of the treatment plans in terms of medications according to the cause and conditions:
- Ciprofloxacin 400mg + Metronidazole 500mg as well as Amoxicillin + Clavulanate (Augmentin) 625 mg 3 times a day for a minimum of 5 days is commonly prescribed by the healthcare providers as the treatment regimen for diverticular bleeding.
- Anti-inflammatories are generally prescribed for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) including aminosalicylates and balsalazide. Steroids and immunosuppressants can also be a part of the treatment regimen sometimes.
- Rehydration drinks are often prescribed for the treatment of gastroenteritis.
When to See a Healthcare Provider
If you notice blood in your stool or blood clots in your stool, it’s essential to seek medical attention from your healthcare provider.
If the bleeding is significant, you feel weak, dizzy, or lightheaded, or if there is a lot of blood in your stool, seek immediate medical attention or go to the nearest emergency clinic.
If you experience continuous changes in bowel habits, abdominal pain, weight loss, or other concerning symptoms along with blood clots in the stool, it’s important to get evaluated by a healthcare professional.
If you have a personal or family history of gastrointestinal conditions or colorectal cancer, it’s important to be vigilant about any changes in your bowel movements.
FAQs About Blood Clots in Stool
The percentage of blood in stools depends on multiple factors such as age, genetic factors and health conditions. If you are young, the blood might depict anal fissures or hemorrhages but if you are in the older group it can depict colon polyps.
In case of diverticular bleeding, there might be no pain but you might notice red clumps of blood in your stools. It shows a GIT infection and needs immediate medical attention.
Bloody stool shouldn’t last more than a few days. If it persists, it’s good to get medical consultation from a professional healthcare individual or provider.
Blood in stool from causes like hemorrhoids or anal fissures may heal on its own with time and proper self-care measures. Causes like diverticular bleeding, gastroenteritis or IBD need proper medication treatment regimen for proper cure.